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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Lip Gloss Lies on Valentine's Day

Dear God,

Please forgive me, and help me forgive myself, for shouting so meanly at Punch this morning when she tried to sneak dark pink lip gloss into school in the pocket of her pale pink faux fur vest.

I yelled so loud that even our sweet doggy, Sugar, was scared.

I told her she couldn't when she came down from Figgy's room with it. I told her to take it off, that it was too much like lipstick and she is only in fourth grade. She took it off, and then snuck the tube into her pocket again.

I dug through my tote bag and gave her the little tin of pale pink-tinted Vaseline she had admired.

I don't tolerate liars well, never have. But please help me not extrapolate a single incident into a liar's life sentence. Please help me not to think, I NEVER WOULD HAVE DONE THAT AS A GIRL, LIE TO MY MOTHER LIKE THAT. WHAT A TERRIBLE, HOPELESS PATH PUNCH IS ON. THERE WILL BE NO TURNING BACK. Please help me to remember to look straight into Punchy's good, true heart, the one you gave her.

Punch is in a confusing "mother" situation. Her birth mother has pitted me against her, as though the little girl's safety is not at the heart of the issue. And also, maybe I did do things like that as girl. Just the other day, I remembered that I wrote with lipstick on my bedroom wall once, and on the face of my big stuffed dog. Where did I even get that lipstick?

But why, when I see the tube of pink lip gloss left behind in my care--why don't I feel positive?

Thank you for listening, God. It is getting harder and harder to be vigilant enough to keep this child on path. Please give me grace, give me patience, let me be kind but firm.

Love, your tortured soul,


  1. It was a cold afternoon; snow was on the ground and my mother made me wear socks (duh, to keep my feet warm) when I went out to meet my friends after school. Fourth or fifth grade, I think. Socks were not cool so I took them off when I rounded the corner and stuffed them into my pockets. Later, I put them back on before coming home for dinner. I did not grow up to be a criminal, but I did have cold feet that day. There's hope for Punchy. Love, Lin

    1. Lin, thank you! I guess we are all human, and our mothers want the best for us. Happy Valentines. Love, Al